A health and fitness blog: With an occasional food item

Monday, August 31, 2009

Bob and Mike Bryan

Making my way through a New Yorker piece on Bob and Mike Bryan, identical twins who currently dominate men's doubles. Fascinating story, notably how their tennis-playing parents pushed them with goals but also with the finesse of the game.
The main article is available online for magazine subscribers only. But I found this Q/A with the writer of the piece, Burkhard Bilger.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Irish blessing

Absolutely nothing to do with health and fitness but just want to give a shout-out to Rev. Ruth Cummings and daughter Sally. Ruth has been our associate at church and she'll be the associate at an Atlanta church. We had a great service and great luncheon today in her honor. Nary a dry eye in the house at the service. She preached. Ruth has been in Columbus for 25 years, serving in various roles. Godspeed, friend. We'll miss you!
An Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Protestant work ethic

This was the phrase I was thinking about earlier this evening while pedaling furiously down (then up) the Riverwalk. Often it is such a joy to be out there--to watch the waves on the water, to ride alongside friends and chat, to be amused by a guy in a kilt on the Oxbow Golf Course (true!). But today? Friday afternoon at 5:30? It was all about mind over matter. Grinding it out. Checking off the list. Hail to Martin Luther and John Calvin! (This is all somewhat out of context, mind you. I doubt they had exercise in mind as a means of accounting for one's salvation.)
It's sometimes what you think about when you're racing for home on a Friday afternoon.
Here's more on the "PWE."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Jaycee Lee Dugard

What a story.
Imagine if you were Jaycee, who was 11 at the time of the abduction. Imagine her parents' hell. How do you begin to cope with something like that, during and after?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chattahoochee Riverwalk

Our friend Cathy Fussell has this new blog about her adventures along the Chattahoochee Riverwalk, a stone's throw away from her house.
Her observations are wonderful.
She takes walks on the Riverwalk and I ride my bike so I don't hear as many conversations as she. (Eavesdropping is the subject of a recent post.) I might cover more distance and therefore take more in by sight; but this listening in can be fascinating, if not humorous.

The Color Purple

My favorite scene from "The Color Purple."
It was on the other night.
Happy Hump Day!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Healthy People 2010

This is such a great idea. I didn't know about this national program (or if I did, I forgot). There are multiple links, and resources about preventive medicine (one of my passions), and how healthy people make healthier communities.
Speaking of, one doc drives a Volvo. The other, a Porsche. The General Practitioner drives the Volvo, of course. (Which is part of the health care debacle. But that's for another day.)
Here's to your health.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bulldog Bait & Tackle

Yes, this is the name of an actual establishment here in the River City.
Tacky/redneck as it may sound, it is an oasis if one is parched while exercising on the adjacent Riverwalk.
Dropped by there today and a man handed me a flier advertising BBQ meals he cooks out front every day (Monday-Saturday).
Menu includes:
Rib plate; rib tray
Boston butt sandwich
Hamburgers; hot dogs
The most expensive thing on the menu is a whole slab of ribs for $14. Cheapest is a hot dog for $1.50. (Better yet, an order of fries for $1). Not bad.
Not exactly health food but I told him I'd come check it out, given that I'm only about 2 miles away by car. Anyone up for lunch this week, give me a call at the L-E.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I eye'd,
Such seems your beauty still.
- William Shakespeare

My father turned 72 last Tuesday. Here we are, post-dinner (this evening), with some flowers that he said reminded him of a funeral.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Healthy tips

This is a thorough article on preventive diet and fitness measures that can stave off long-term health problems. While we can't prevent the inevitable--death--we can feel better and keep our respective organs in good shape, in the meantime.
I like what the one woman said--that we don't have to subsist on "wheat grass," but we can avoid processed and fatty foods. And other little things that help prevent big things.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Eveleyn Stevens

Really interesting piece about one Evelyn Stevens. Formerly employed at a Wall Street investment company, Stevens took a shine--more than a shine--to cycling a few years ago. So she quit her job to compete. Thing is, women's cycling doesn't have the draw of men's cycling. There are fewer sponsorships and therefore less money to be made; so more people are competing for the top spots.
Yet Stevens, like Lance Armstrong, has a natural talent and perhaps a physiological advantage as well. When tested, she puts out a huge amount of power, relative to the short period she's been training.
Bravo, Bike Girl!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Here is my new favorite commercial.
Doesn't have much to do with health and fitness, granted. But if it makes you smile/laugh, that's healthy, right?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fat burners

Check out this piece for foods that help you build muscle, and burn fat.
Good thing I eat/drink these with some regularity. (However, if mushrooms or olives or coconut made the list, I'd be in trouble.)
Internet, hope you are having a good weekend.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


This is an amazing story about a guy who finally got relief from his OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
His was an extreme case, of course, but I imagine there's a bit of OCD in all of us.
Mine? Note writing. If you break a nail, I will likely send you a get-well card. Or if you let me come in your house to use the bathroom, you'll get a thank-you note.
There are worse things to do, I suppose; and this man in the article had much more extreme habits. (The line is when you let these things take utter control of your life.) The underlying trait is control, or the feeling of being in control.
Do you remember the William Hurt character in "American Tourist" who alphabetized the items in his pantry? Hard core.
What are some OCD traits you have, or have seen?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

More Lunch

Lunch Club II

See post below.
Apparently all the photos didn't/couldn't load.

Lunch Club

At the inaugural meeting of the Lunch Club today, our friend Brad Smith cooked up quite a feast: Caesar salad; gumbo and rice; and raspberry/chocolate cobbler.
Everything was homemade, down to the croutons.
In group photo, left to right: Sandra Okamoto, Brad, Joe Paull and Rebecca Paull. The kid shot is their 3-year-old daughter Josie, who loved the elevator.
Thanks, Brad! Cheers.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Triathlon risks

This piece from the Independent (UK) reports on the risks of triathlons. Because of a few recent deaths in such tests of endurance, some are cautioning about diving head first (so to speak) without proper training and evaluation.
And yet.
I like what the last guy says: It's a sedentary lifestyle that's killing people at a far higher rate.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Wendell Berry

Gosh, bad day yesterday, apparently.
Today was better. For one thing, acquired two new books, one of which is "A Timbered Choir" by the farmer/writer Wendell Berry.
Here's a sample:

Coming to the woods' edge
on my Sunday morning walk,
I stand resting a moment beside
a ragged half-dead wild plum
in bloom, its perfume
a moment enclosing me,
and standing side by side
with the old broken blooming tree,
I almost understand,
I almost recognize as a friend
the great impertinence of beauty
that comes even to the dying,
even to the fallen, without reason
sweetening the air.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

5 Mistakes All Women Make

Or so says this snippet.
Can you think of others?
I'll add one (which is purely biographical but probably applies to others): How women rake ourselves over the coals. Over. The. Coals. Rebuttals?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pretty in Pink

Here's an interview clip about the 1986 John Hughes film "Pretty in Pink." Sadly, Hughes died today, of a heart attack.
This movie definitely was part of my era. There were others lumped into these "Brat Pack" films, including "Some Kind of Wonderful," "St. Elmo's Fire," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "The Breakfast Club." I've been trying all day to think of a favorite; but each one has its own merit.
Funny but Andrew McCarthy, interviewed in the clip, was chosen for the part largely by co-star Molly Ringwold. In high school, my girlfriends and I would go on and on (and on) about our deep crushes on him. Our guy friends didn't get it. They'd whisper to us that he was gay. And we'd hit them.
Rest in peace, John Hughes. You "got" us.

'Grudge' report

Holding a grudge can be bad for your health. Or so says this blog.
Learning how to let go and forgive old hurts can help with blood pressure and other ailments. Who knew?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Boy Interrupted

If you get a chance to see this on HBO, do.
Michael and I watched it last night. It's gripping. Sad and tragic and awful, and gripping. If you know someone who suffers from manic-depression, this likely will be helpful. (Though it's not an instructional documentary by any means.) Each family has to navigate its own way through mental illness. Unfortunately there's not a road map.
Yet there are tools, and more and more tools everyday. I'm thankful to this particular family for shedding even more light on an often misunderstood, misdiagnosed and maligned illness.

Monday, August 3, 2009


"Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul."
--G.K. Chesterton

I'm grateful to and for these friends. Part of a reunion weekend for us, they (and others not pictured, who couldn't come) shaped me even beyond my knowing. Thanks be.

Melissa d'Arabian

Egads. We watched this Food Network reality show last night--what's the world coming to? (We typically would want to have a root canal before watching a reality show.) Melissa d'Arabian, a homemaker, defeated the rest of the competition, and will get her own cooking show. The fact that she's a homemaker probably gave her the edge--an Everywoman who has to juggle life like most of the rest of us; and yet she had time to come up with inventive recipes and communicated them well.
The part of me that dislikes competition (hence the dislike of reality shows) wanted her and the runner-up to win. I always feel for the loser. He was just as talented. But they didn't ask me, haha.